Twiga Foods has done a lot of pruning in the last year, and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping anytime soon.
In a cost-cutting move last year, the B2B agritech startup laid off its entire internal sales team—about 211 people. Now, instead of full-time salespersons, it works with several independent agents. That’s a lot of firing, but Twiga defended it saying that it is converting the salespeople to “free agents”.
Are they really free? It depends on who you ask, but what is apparent is that Twiga is free to immediately fire an agent that isn’t performing as well as the company would like. So are the free agents truly free? Well, they are free to work for other employers while working for Twiga Foods, as long as they are able to juggle it with the agritech’s expectations. It recently laid off some of these free agents for underperformance.
Another layoff? Yes. Twiga assesses the agents monthly. If they do not serve the clients Twiga assigns to them satisfactorily, they are replaced by another agent on Twiga’s waiting list of new applicants. Currently, there are 2,000 people on that waiting list.
MONIEPOINT RANKED 2ND FASTEST-GROWING AFRICAN COMPANY
Moniepoint is Africa’s second-fastest growing company, as shown in FTs latest report. We also processed 1 billion transactions worth $43 billion in Q1 alone. Read all about it here.
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MTN SA TURNS TO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY TO ESCAPE LOAD-SHEDDING
MTN has stated that it is actively investigating off-grid renewable energy alternatives to Eskom as it continues to battle the impact of load shedding on its operations.
The launch forms part of a six-month plan, with completion targeted for the third quarter of 2023. It will involve a small-scale field trial in the Western Cape, to be followed by another one in the Eastern Cape.
The company estimates that load-shedding cost its South African operations R695 million (~$37 million) in 2022 alone.
Towards zero grid reliance: According to MTN, the project will allow seamless integration with MTN South Africa’s telecommunications equipment to provide hybrid renewable energy generation for [base stations] and other asset classes with low workloads.
“It [will] also increase power security per site, mitigating the effects of load shedding in line with MTN’s plans to bolster network resilience,” the company said in a statement.
E-hailing drivers, including Uber and Bolt, have been banned from dropping off or picking up passengers inside malls in Soweto for a period of three months.
This ban follows violent activities over the past few days which saw some Bolt and Uber vehicles burnt by taxi drivers who accused the operators of stealing their customers in the malls. The ban was introduced as a form of a ceasefire agreement between the taxi operators and ride-hailing drivers.
A fair compromise: The discussions between the e-hailing association and the Soweto Taxi Services (STS) were facilitated by the City of Joburg. The ban will be in place until a permanent solution is found.
The city of Johannesburg states that discussions for a more permanent solution will take place this Friday to plot a way forward.
TC INSIGHTS: FUNDING TRACKER
This week, Helium Health, a Nigeria-based health tech company, received $30 million in Series B funding in a round led by AXA IM Alts. Other participating investors included Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, Capria Ventures, Angaza Capital, Flat World Partners, Global Ventures, Tencent, Ohara Pharmaceutical Co, LCY Group, WTI, and AAIC.
There’s only one more deal this week:
Nigerian logistics company Haul247 raised $3 million in seed funding. The round was led by Alitheia Capital, with participation from Investment One.
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THE WORLD WIDE WEB3
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* Data as of 22:10 PM WAT, June 8, 2023.
EVENT: THE MOONSHOT CONVERSATIONS
Moonshot Conversations is a mini-series of discussions about some of the most critical problems in African tech, and what radical solutions exist.
This is part of the programs preceding and heralding our new flagship conference, Moonshot by TechCabal. The conference holds in October and will gather the most audacious players in the African tech industry. Check it out here.
In the first episode of this series, we’ll be discussing AI in Africa, its impact and use cases, as well as the challenges faced in building an AI tool for the African continent. Our world is constantly evolving, and it is crucial for us to stay ahead of the curve.
With this event, we aspire to create an environment where innovative ideas are shared, collaborations are fostered, and powerful insights are gained.
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